Like many other cities in Florida, Orlando has seen significant growth in the last several years. Home to some of the most well-known theme parks in the world, including Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort, the city also has a lot to offer its full-time residents, from its subtropical climate and plentiful job opportunities to affordability and relatively close proximity to Daytona Beach (about a 1 hour and 15 minutes drive). And where opportunities exist for individuals, opportunities often abound for businesses as well. However, there are challenges to expanding your business into Orlando; one of the most significant is acquiring Orlando building permits for commercial construction projects.

When it comes to getting commercial permits in Orlando, fast growth often means a high volume of permit applications. This is great news for the city’s economy—but not so great if you’re looking to get your own permits on time. That’s why we’ve put together this beginner’s guide to getting Orlando building permits for commercial projects.

Key Players in Orlando

When applying for Orlando building permits, you’ll be interacting mostly with the Permitting Services Division of the Economic Development Department. The Permitting Services Division oversees permitting for both residential and commercial projects. Their systems run on ProjectDox, though, as with every location, the specifics and requirements for submitting applications through this platform are unique to the City of Orlando.

Steps For Getting Orlando Building Permits for Commercial Projects

Step 1: Gather All Necessary Paperwork

The first step in successfully acquiring Orlando building permits for commercial projects is to gather all necessary paperwork. As is the case in most municipalities, the specific requirements will vary based on the scope and type of project.

But in general, you can plan on a few consistencies no matter what type of project you have. This includes:

  • The permit application signed and notarized by both owner and contractor
  • Complete design drawings
  • Cover sheet
  • Architectural plans
  • Energy calculations
  • Supplemental plans (landscaping, plumbing, mechanical, etc.)

Your Scout Services permit expediter will be able to tell you if your project requires any special permits or documentation beyond what is listed above.

Step 2: Complete the Application

When you have everything else in order, and you’re ready to fill out the application, be sure you’re filling out the right one. Some areas have single applications, but Orlando has separate applications for renovation and new construction projects.

Regardless of which application you need, they are available online via the city’s website. Scout Services can help ensure you’re filling out the correct application for your project.

Step 3: Submit Plans

Next, it’s typically time to submit your plans. But in Orlando, your application needs to be processed before that happens. Once it’s done, however, the applicant will receive an email with an invoice for a non-refundable 25% deposit fee.

After that is paid, the applicant will then receive a link to the digital plan review system, ProjectDox, where you’ll be able to submit your plans.

A special note for projects exceeding $5,000 in value: you’ll also need to file a Notice of Commencement with the Orange County Comptroller Office and, once filed, post it at the job site and send a copy to the City of Orlando.

Again, your permitting expert from Scout Services will be able to assist you through this process to ensure you’re completing the application steps in the correct order, and accounting for all special requirements that might be relevant to your project.

Step 4: Review and Addressing Comments

After your application is submitted, you’ll be able to track its progress via the city’s Permit Lookup tool. Or, if you have an expediter like Scout Services on your side, there will be someone regularly checking on your application’s progress for you and keeping you apprised of any updates.

Bear in mind that review times vary based on the size of the project, as well as other variables that you and your expediter may not have control over (such as the current volume of applications the city is handling at any given time). But on average, you can expect 6-8 weeks for the initial review to take place.

The application will likely come back with comments (this is to be expected, especially with projects that are larger in scope). Once these have been addressed, you’ll have to resubmit for a second review. Again, depending on the size of your project, the number of comments you received, and the severity of those comments, the timeline of this can vary drastically.

Your Scout Services permit expediter is here to guide you through the process and stay in touch with the city officials to ensure your application is moving forward as quickly as possible.

Step 5: Pay Remaining Fees and Receive Your Permits

Once all reviews are complete and your application for Orlando building permits is approved, the applicant will receive an email with an outstanding invoice for the permits. Pay that, and then you’ll get another email with a link to download your permits—you’ll need to print these to scale and post on your job site prior to construction.


Q: How long does it take to get commercial building permits in Orlando?

A: On average, you can expect the initial review process to take 6-8 weeks in Orlando. Follow-up review times vary depending on the number and severity of comments your project receives. Scout can help you navigate the application, review, and resubmittal process to keep your project on track.

Q: Which codes apply in Orlando?

The official Orlando city website has an extensive list of applicable building codes. They include but are not limited to:

  • Florida Building Code 8th edition
  • National Electrical Code 2020
  • FBC 2023 Energy Code
  • As well as Florida-specific statutes and Orlando City Codes

The experts at Scout will be able to tell you which codes apply to your projects.

Looking to Get Orlando Building Permits for Your Commercial Project? Turn to Scout Services

If you have a commercial project coming up in Orlando, Scout Services is here to help. We’re one of the leading nationwide providers of permit expediting services for commercial projects. We have the expertise and the connections with municipal officials to keep your project moving forward. Whether you’re looking to get permits for a simple office remodel, you’re planning a major retail roll-out, or you have new builds coming up, we partner with you through every step of the process.

Get in touch with us today to get started.

Disclaimer: While we strive to provide the latest and most relevant information, the codes and laws that regulate commercial construction projects are always evolving. If you have a project coming up in Orlando, get in touch with our team at Scout Services for assistance.